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T~KTafia Mellinger $5.00 
• Jennifer Jay $5.00 
^Shelly Partillo $5.00 
-Matt Jones $5.00 
K Gerald Scott $5.00 
i'DaveTie'man $5.00 


Maria Mellinger $5.00 
' ' Michelle Forys $5.00 


Shellie Smith $20.00 

Next Deadlines: 
February 14 #79 
April 24 #80 



David Tieman 
David Ti em an 
Lauri Stahl 
Shelly Parti Ha 


Martin Nieamanski Primary Deviance 
Maria Mel linger Carolyn and the Dragon 
Shelly Parti 1 la Flowers on Mondays 
Jannine Passehl Strangers 
Martin Niezmanski Untitled 
Gerald R. Scott XII 
Dawn„Mooney Demon's Bliss 
Maria Mel 1 inger St. Vincent De Paul's 

Matt Jones 
Eric Jensen 
Jennifer Jay 
Jeff Hicks 
fish, inc. 
Shelly Parti Ha 

Matt Jones 
Donica Rampo 



Yawn and Stretch 


Mind Fuck 

How to Fit a World Inside 

a Room 

Velvet Elvis 

A Leopard and It's Spots 
Maria Mel linger Heir to the Fractured Throne 
Maria Mel I inger Painfully Pick it Apart 
Pam Hendricks An Empty Chair at the 

Dinner Table 
Michelle Fory s Shoebox 
Michelle Forys Childhood 
Donica Rampo Go Away 
Maria Mel 1 inger Untitled 
Maria Mel 1 inger Untitled 
Maria Mel 1 inger Untitled 
Maria Mel linger Sonnet 21 
Maria Mel linger Untitled 
Shel ly Parti 11a Winner Takes Al 1 
Shelly Parti 11a There's No Maid in Heaven 
Jannine Passehl Decisions 
Shelly Parti 11a God 
Shelly Parti I la World Mold Me 
Jannine Passehl Love Cuts Deep 
Maria Mel linger Untitled 
Shel ly Parti 11a Alone but Not Lonely 
Shelly Parti 11a Untitled 
Martin Nieznanski No Longer Shall I Worship 
Shelly Parti 11a I Can Be Stubborn Too 
Dawn Mooney Untitled 
Lauri Stahl Untitled 
Shelly Parti 11a Take the Ball 
Martin Nieznanski Careful 
Martin Nieznanski Untitled 
CI i f f ord Druml So Far My Favori te 
Martin Nieznanski Mine 
Lauri Stahl Amputation 
Martin Nieznanski Only the Shelves Filled 
Steve Custer Untitled 
Dawn Mooney Musician's Liar 
Gerald R. Scott Untitled 


Laura V. Cercantes 

A Ghost Within 


Matt Jones 



Laura V Cervantes 

On. Traveling 


Jennifer Jay 

A Poem About 




Maria Mel linger 



Maria Mel linger 



Steve Custer 

Beatle Rip-Off Poem 


David Tieman 



Shelly Parti 11a 

Time to Leave the 




Shelly Parti 11a 



Shelly Parti 11a 

Candlelight Heros 


ShellieR Smith 

Tribute to Dr. Seuss 


Steve Custer 

But of You 


Steve Custer 

You Wanted 


Steve Custer 



Steve Custer 



Eric Jensen 



David Tieman 



Jannine Passehl 



Jennifer Jay 



Matt Jones 

The Glass Princess 

Michelle Forys 

The Writer 


Michelle Forys 

A Celtic Poem 


Enter the Chapel. 


Michelle Forys 

1 Have Changed 


Patrick F. Walsh 

Claude and Effect 


Lauri Stahl 



Michelle Forys 

The Silent Boy 









1 1 
i 1 

i i 
1 1 
1 1 














David Tieman 

Oil tanker cowboy- 
Riding a wild horse 
Chewing polluted tobacco 
And spitting 
Into the ocean's spittoon 


David Tieman 

Each night 

I gape, 


At the tinfoil water 

That broken-hearted stars created 

To preserve vivid memories 

Of a tickling love affair 

Wi th an amatory annoyance 

That refused to laugh 

Lauri Stahl 

Just fifteen short years ago 
I thanked you God with tearful eyes 
As I gave birth to a beautiful son, and 
A sense of greatness I did recognize. 

So sure was I that the future held 
Periods of peaceful ness and grandeur. 
I 'm glad I didn't know your plan contained 
Challenges and tests of Cancer. 

To sit on the sidelines watching and waiting 
Wishing you were the one is extremely hard. 
But for some unknown reason God chose my son, 
And God dealt him the trump card. 

So I firmly took 
My place in this play 
As I stood by his side 
Every step of the way. 

Thru chemo, vomit, surgery, and pain 
I dug down deep inside myself 
searching for forgotten knowledge 
Hoping to give my son some help. 

Concentrating on life and laughter 
As cycles of darkness did appear, 
Helped us as we went forward, 
Holding hands, without fear. 

Don't try to reason the how or why 
Of struggles, sorrows, and strife. 
All you need to really know is-they 

Also bring blessings into your 1 i fe. 

Warrior Heart 

Warriors Heartbeat 
Tom-Tom drum 
'Round blazing flames 
of rising son 

Upon Howling Wind 
in drenching rain 
Heartbeat coursing 
Through primal vein 

Medicine Man 
Heal my wounds 
In dancing light 
of a hundred moons 

Foot beats faster 
rise and fall 
These Ancient Spirits 
See them all 

Blood of earth 
Mind of sky 
Eagle teach me 
How to fly 

Politics and the Kool-aidMan 

Shelly Parti 11a 

I suppose I've bolted through 

Al 1 avenues of maturity. 

I'm considering testing 

You're patience a little more 

To make this a little easier. 

I 've spent a majority of the week 

Trying to find a way 

To make you hate me 

And I haven't come up with 

Any terrific, devious schemes yet. 

If I could just tell you 

How I real ly feel 

In the words I really want to use 

Without you being offended, 

It would be over by now. 

Although it sounds crass and horribly callous, 

I really have no use for you anymore. 

I'm really very sorry 

But from far away, you were so appealing 

And you seemed like such a great catch. 

But up close, you're really not that exciting. 


Primary Deviance 

Martin Niezmanski 

There are no glasses 
To help me see the world, 
It is everyone else that 
Needs to adjust their eyes. 


Carolyn and the Dragon 

Maria Mel linger 

Carolyn always claimed to be friends with a green 
monster. Apparently, he ate trains of obnoxious 
people and developed indigestion all too frequently. 
She approved of such behavior, even though she 
was a vegetarian. 

We talked about the monster often. I was unsure of 
his actual existence, just as all the people and 
things on Sesame Street never saw 
Snuffeluppagus, except Big Bird. Carolyn could 
very well have been the Big Bird of my circle of 
friends. I tried bery hard not to be obnoxious or to 
take trains. 

I thought we were friends. Almost by accident, 
however, I met new people, and these new people 
went to the city on Thursdays. I 'd never gone 
anywhere on a Thursday before. 

With great fear and excitement I boarded the train 
that dreadful day before Friday. The new people 
and I had such fun being loud and laughing, eating 
red meat. We dance through the city like dragons, 
burning down skyscrapers with our stories, 
stealing damsels from the five and dime. 

On the ride home a fearful smog wrapped the train 
like a birthday present with a lightening bow. The 
clack clack of the rails was replaced by the chomp 
chomp chomp of teeth approaching our cocktail car. 

I hadn't a clue I had been obnoxious, and perhaps 
that's how I was saved. But I had glimpsed the 
green monster, and I would never see Carolyn 



Flowers on Mondays 

Shelly Parti 11a 

It's amateur night 
In his bedroom. 

The midnight sun 

Peeks around corners of darkness 

and I wonder what I'm doing here. 

His dusty cologne sickens me 

And I strain my nose 

For a hint of less-stale air. 

Imagining ten-foot poles 

That aren't long enough, 

I touch his clammy skin 

And pretend he's someone else— 

someone less vulgar 

And far more aesthetic. 

His lips taste like onions and mouthwash 

And awkward apologies for pulling my hair 

Fly up from arctic sheets. 

"I love you", he says. 

And counting the hours I've known him 

And how much I love my dog, 

I turn to him and say— 

"I love you too." 

But I'm lying 

And I really just want to get this over with. 



Janine Passehl 

you are no stranger to me 

though we've never even met. 

we've spent countless hours 

in one anothers presence, 

exchanging silent words and conversations 

with our eyes. 

you pass by 

and i scream 

"i love you!" 

you continue to walk on. 

I thought I heard you scream 

Martin Nieznanski 

I thought I heard you screaming 

so I ran as fast as I could 

To you... 

When I got there I realized that 

You were enjoying yourself with 

Someone who must be better than me, 

And the screams were laughter 




Gerald R. Scott 

Alone I stand, my following gone, 

God & Idols of old replaced by those of new 

Should I believe that's the way life is? 

Even for a God? 

Should I grasp on th that existential thought? 

Dionysus left me weeks ago to dance & sing & drink in 

the mountains 

I was loved once 


My following great once 

Now it seems that beautiful Apollo has taken my 


These children would never follow Ares 

But he looks like Ares 

With my following gone, will I die or just become a 


As I look back I have to guestion my followers & 

the gods I chose to befriend 

Was it wise? 

The followers seem too manipulated or too easily 

molded now 

Was I doing that too? 

My followers were of beautiful women & sturdy men 

Or so I thought! 

They seem no more than blasphemous malignant 

parasites now. 

The things I loathe most 

Was it wise? 

I cannot wait for Dionysus to return! 

Perhaps he will set right or at least see what I 


Oh, save me mighty thunder thrower! 

Save me from Apollo & his bright eyes! 

How I enjoy his company though 

I truly do 

But I loathe the followers he's stolen 

He fools them with mystic logic & platinum tongue 

Apollo has chased the satyr from the woods & made 

the satyr only an aguaintenance of mine now 

The satyr was a good friend once 


But what of poor Dionysus? 

He's fallen in-love-with a soccobus that does not but 

try to change him & sway his will 

Dionysus & I often traveled to the North lands to revel 

& drink 

Now it seems even he is loosing his passion 

Why Dionysus? 


Why has the dryad left my life? 

The dryad chose confusion & a mortal over a well 

toned blond god 

Possibly the time for gods of mysticism & passion is 


What a loss for mankind! 

Or maybe it's a loss for godkind? 

That rarity I'm part of is being pushed away 

Will there be no true "wild children" anymore? 

I loved those children 

That was before they became asphyxiated by Apollo's 


The vyino for aristocrasy of the gods is a rare thing 

A strange thing! 

I would never usurp Apollo's influences 

That's out of my relm of rulership or compassion 

Maybe it's sympathy that holds me from my followers of 


Sympathy not only for them but myself too 

Perhaps I should be gone from these hills & valleys? 

Should I seek new followers? 

Should they seek me out instead? 

I nearly died once already 

A god dying is not a welcomed sight in any ports 

I'm torn between the security of the woods & the edge 

of the cliff that stimulates my passions 

Apollo, my friend, has inhabited the woods 

Though not willingly, he pushed me towards the cliff 

The cliff 1s far from the woods 

Perhaps it's not as bad as this raving god says? 

Perhaps I Just need to sleep & be dormant for awhile 

&my following will return or be anew? 


Perhaps I'm not a god at all? 

Perhaps I was chosen to be one & now discarded as a 

used one!? 

Perhaps there are no gods? 

If there are gods though, how could I stand not being 



Demon's Bliss 

Dawn Mooney 

So the devil called me out to play 
To sing and dance 
And scream at Heaven 
With he as my partner 
Until I die 

I played his game 

I laughed at pain 

I leaped with orgasmic pleasure 

And when the angels called me back 

I told them I'd be gone forever 

This evil fun wouldn't last 

The told me 

To which I replied, 

"Nothing good ever does" 

And with demon's bliss 

I turned away 

Back into 

The hell of happiness 

To enjoy the laughter 

Until I die. 

St. Vincent De Paul's 

Maria Mel linger 

There are things my love for you force me to 


The kiss of an eyelash on a wind carrying a wish, 

The gypsy homes I visited to buy crystal 

wrapped in someone's slip, 

Pretty paisley panties worn under my worldly 


Sleepless nights with poetry, writing letters, 

feeding my journal with thoughts. 

I sold these things to a thrift store filled with 


Where I saw my mother's high school job on 


Bridesmaids in the irregular rack, best friends 

on discount, 

And the many objects, accumulations, and 

relation we acguire 

Before replacing them with the lover and his 


With leftover pennies from your purchase I 

bought large overalls 

With many pockets for secrets and a patch of yin 

and yang. 

I stuffed mysteries behind the material and 

fastened the buckles, 

Shoplifted gossip and an evening a week for my 


I wore the heavy denims whenever what I was 

supposed to ignore 

Forgot to be forgotten and what I forgot for. 


Matt Jones 


Whatta word, Whatta word! 

With me. 

With you 

With me 

We are with 

In the skin 

under glass 

In the SIN 

(I've got you under my skin) 

For your pound of Flesh 

Let's begin. 

Ripples of the skein 

Yours and mine 

Locked at Heaven's Door 

Opening the Gate of Hell 




In my blood 

Both over, both over 

Run red to the shores 

Down through the 


That tunnel of love 

Architecture of 


Eating, chewing 

Smack your lips 

In the serpent's coil 

Running around 

That sea-blue marble 

Down and through 

The spine of night 

Where we all 

Just might 

Close to you 

In that 

Dragon- time 

Feel my breath 

We are with 

Ripple our scales 

Flutter our wings 


We consume everything. 

I taste the salt 

of a deadened sea 

Ripe red pastures 

In the above 

Through the cracks 

I see your pulse 

your flesh 

your sweat 

your heat 

your holy trinity 

kept in amber 

Go into the dark 

Deeper, Faster 


Arrows of Fate 

May find their mark 

Quiver, shudder 

We pace as one 

Into that 

Vertigo heat 

Around with me twist 

In the bog 

Sinking down 

Drowning now 

Bite, scratch, hiss 

About, About, Reel and rout 

Private Dance 

of private penance 


May I cut in? 

No, it's a sin 

Dance to the beat 

of the sweltering heat 


In the meat 

Child-butcher with 

We are 

No time for a shooting star. 

This is what we are 

This is with we are 

We are with 

Whatta word, Whatta Word! 


Eric Jensen 

Anger freshly lit 

Lingers on my lips 

and begs my tongue 

To crush your skull with words 

I saw you as a hero falsely 
Confirming your words 
With swallowed pain 
Fearfully wishing you wrong 

I hate you because you speak the truth 
And I am much too young 
For such nonsense 


Jennifer Jay 

(Yawn) and Stretch 

In the sleepy sunlit morning 

flowers open their yellow eyes. 

Patches lazily pants 

By a garden hose sunning its scales. 

(Yawn) and Stretch 

Shadows tenderly smooth the patio. 
Bushes blindly reach for the light. 
A puttering plane skids by in the 
cauliflower clouds of a foamy sky's distance. 



Jeff Hicks 

Actors take the stage 
Light the elaborate set 
speak your lines clearly 

A leaf in the wind 
Flutters to the pond surface 
the water ripples 

Egyptian mummies 
Buried within catacombs 
In the cryptic sands 

The TV. is on 

Lights flash, sirens blare loudly 

I hate nintendo 


"Mind Fuck" 

fish, Inc. 

When I think about the love we shared, there is 
always a certain feeling of sadness. The long 
walks, the time we spent alone by the fire, the 
way he held me when we made love; I miss him 
so much! Someday I may fall in love again, but I 
will never forget that wonderful summer I spent 
in the arms of Hitler. 


How to Fit A World Inside A Room 

Shelly Parti 11a 

Sitting under my stars in the dark with 
my ocean just within view, I let myself think of 
you. It's really not that hard but I usually 
prevent it—mostly because prolonged memories 
of you piss me off. I remember how you gasped 
eery time I swore and how repulsed you were 
when you saw me drunk because "it just wasn't 
like me." "YOU NEVER KNEW ME", I scream, 
but no one hears except for my parents who 
pass it off as just "another fit if morbid cre- 

Such a non-reaction would normally 
infuriate me but my impulses have become more 
humane in your absence. Damn. That's almost 
like admitting I miss you and I was trying so 
hard not to say it. 

Velvet Elvis 

Matt Jones 

I stand here looking at this painting 
(All praise to the king and the hosts in 

Sitting in the road dust, among the gravel 
(Paltry dollars to walk away with this master- 
piece in hand!) 

A wind rolls up revealing his features. 
(Oh, the genius of the style, the color, the 

A zephyr races through the lot, toppling the 

(Cruel fate, you steal his majesty like a 

I quickly reach down and put the painting right. 
(My place in heaven assured for rescuing this 

I imagine it in my home. 

(My friends will adore this object d'art LIKE AN 

I take it and move towards the cashier. 
(Carefully, carefully for I maybe for this 
precious star!) 

I delve into my pocket and fredge up 1 5 dollars. 
(I stand now and forever as the envy of the 

I pack it into my 78 Nova and drive away. 
(I have it in my grasp! Rapture! Oh, Joy 


A Leopard And Its Spots 

Donica Rampo 

I'm sitting here crying - and laughing. 
Laughing and crying at the same time. It's 
probably only because I'm drunk - nothing else 
could make me act so insane. It's a good thing 
Charles is away on business. He would be very 
shocked to find me in this undesirable condition, 
and believe me, Charles is very rigid concern- 
ing his personal opinions on desirability - 
meaning right or wrong. Good old Charles. I 
love him dearly. He's so predictable and dull, 
and oh so dependable. 

drank was beer. He didn't know it, of course. 
Jesus, he didn't know anything about me - still 
doesn't, thank God. He's a sweet man. To him, I am 
Lucille Steadman - Beautiful, funny, and the mother 
of his children. He's a bit narrow-minded perhaps, 
but I am lucky to have him. 

There are times now and then when I miss al 
the fun I used to have B.C. (Before Charles) - the 
parties, the dancing, and the boys. God how I loved 
the boys. Who they were never really mattered - 
only how they made me feel in those lonely hours of 
the night. There were hours of the night. 
I remember so well. There were shy guys with 
silky kisses and rebels with rough caresses. And I 
loved changing any mood the boys came with to one 
of total exhilaration. Charles wasn't the first, last, 
or the best, but that isn't why I married him. I 
loved Charles, then and now, and he's the guy all the 
girls wanted to marry, And he would have a cardiac 
if he saw the skeletons I have in my closet. 

I used to wear the tightest skirts - ones up 
to here. Now I can afford a Chanel Suit now and just 
say, a limousine is much more accommodating. 

I think I've changed alot since I met Charles. 
We have two beautiful children - and I'm doing the 
best to bring them up. They are his kids - I'm 
certain of that, I'm always very careful. I "do" 
alot of charity functions and I have a social circle of 
wealthy wives. 

They all comment on my charming "wit and 
wisdom." That makes me laugh too. My "wisdom" 
as they call it, is one of those fringe benefits of 
having a lifestyle they wouldn't dare dream of. Or 
maybe they would. How should I know? Maybe 
some of those priss wives are pulling off a ruse just 
as effectively as I am. 

Well enough of that mental meandering. I 
better pull myself together - I hear someone in the 
drive. Its probably my "date" for the evening - 
Rick or Ron or something. 1 1 doesn't matter - He 
has nice arms. 

Oh Lucille - inside you'll always be Lucy. 

The children are spending the weekend 
with their grandparents, his parents, of course. 
Mine are dead. That's what I've always told 
him, anyway. So here I am, in this big old 
house. Alone with my Cognac. I never used to 
like this crap - I guess I took a liking to it after 

When I met Charles, all I ever really 

Heir to the Fractured Throne 
Maria Mel linger 

I wouldn't have held him in such a tight grip 
If you hadn't crushed him in the palm of your fist. 
I wouldn't have dressed him in poems and plaid 
If you hadn't stripped him of what little he had. 
I wouldn't have praised him to such high regard 
If you hadn't Perated him and loft him scarred. 
I wouldn't have loved him if only I knew 
That was what he wanted, and he wanted you . 

Painfully Pick it Apart 

Maria Mellinger 

You drew yourself a picture of me through my 


A Lincoln Log house of lies, a Tinker Toy heart 

You thought I built for you. You introduced 


And despite the childishness we became friends, 

Coloring class together and playing pirate in the 


It had to end, like childhoods do, with a mural 

Or two. Now clean up your toys ad go home, boy. 


An Empty Chair At The Dinner Table 

Pam Hendricks 

It is so unnatural for a child to die before you. 

A family member gone before their time... 

'Crime Victim" the pol ice would say; 

What a Cold way to say you're heart's been 

ripped out today. 

You know a piece of you has been buried too, 

Something you never get back. 

That you can touch and feel but not speak? 

The language of the heart has no words, 

no cure for the ache that consumes you... 

An empty chair at the dinner table 

How symbolic 

Is this grief looks like in our hearts? 

People whose families have been fractured; 


Never again to be whole. 

You see them in all regular places. 

You'll know them by the expression on their 

faces; walking wounded... 

Scarred by some unseen force; fate? 

Perhaps, but by whose choice? 

Brothers and sisters with a hollow look; 

Afraid to love afraid to lose. 

More than they can bear. 

Mothers and fathers carrying their grief upon 

their breast, 

Like an old veteran displaying his medals on his 


They ask 'when will this pain go away?' 

Soon, very soon, others would say. 

But you know it never will... 

A burden too great to bear, but unable to put it 


Alive, but not really living, 

Dead without dying.... 



Michelle Forys 

You begin with nothing. 

All your life you learn and gain experience... 
too my material things. 

Collecting possessions, approval, and wealth, 
until you cannot count it all; still, you want more. 

Then, one day, the struggling ends. 

And you find that the most precious things you 


are the smallest ones. 

A picture, a ring, a pressed flower, a letter. 
Memories and dreams. 

Treasures in a shoebox. 


Michelle Forys 

Do you remember how excited yo were 

When you got your first set of 

24 pack Crayolas? 

Or when you got all the way around the classroom 

Playing "Around the World" in the timetables? 

(The multiples of six were impossible) 

Or when you had to sguare dance with that 

One kid that actually Liked holding your hand? 

He never did get the Cooties. 


Go Away 
Donlca Rampo 

You're too close 

get back 

I can't stand 

having you so near to me. 


You don't understand. 

I like you 

I love you 

But you can't see how 
Crazy it makes me- 

Having you there 

Right there 

And you're not mine to hold 
to touch 
to keep- 


Maria Mel linger 

My brush, 

throws herself into the paint, 

Dances upon the canvas 

In yellow acapel la, 

Kisses the sunset open mouth, 

Leaving a lipstick trace cloud 

And a stroke of summer. 

I wash the happiness off her, 

Running the colors into 

A tap water puddle 

Of what could have been painted. 


Mel linger 

Deceiving rose petals, 
I suppose, 
Are romantic 
When saved in a jar 
with cards 
From past lovers 
Lined up like a 
solitaire game 
on a shelf, 
But I'd prefer 
Flowers stolen 
From Central Park 
Pressed in a book of photos 
Celebrating the day 
we spent together. 


Maria Mel linger 

She saved boxes of petals to make a 
Rosary, the flowers earned with her sins, 
Her diary a book of psalms to pray, 
Forgiveness an alter used to begin 
The ritual again. Her god was one 
man today and another tomorrow, 
Gone in the name of the father, the son, 
and the Holy Spirit. Sinners borrow 
Her body in exchange for her son, her 
Love too heavy a cross to bear, her heart 
A promise of afterlife that's unsure. 
Like a Christian the lions tore apart, 
she saves the pieces of petals and men 
to piece her life back together again. 

Sonnet 21 

Maria Mel linger 

The story happened inside a cigar 

box, The setting was Havana at night, 

Motorcycles transporting us afar, 

Fresh into a plot, a lyric, a fight 

For short stories. The hero was brown eyed 

for a change, the size of a cigarette, 

And rolled hard into an image that lied. 

The plot complicates, lest we forget, 

Included tour buses and tobacco 

In a scented struggle for cardboard space, 

Groupies in plastic ("It's a Girl!") to go, 

And me, isolated and lost someplace. 

I wrote to the hero and burned the word; 

He escaped from his wrapper, so I heard. 

Maria Mel linger 

Grandma used to tell me the sleep stuff in 
the corners of my morning eyes was left- 
over sand from the sandman, and my sin 
made it stick. I couldn't imagine theft 
or pain, only Grandma praying for me 
and saying, "The sandman's coming. I can 
hear h i s step. Pray now while you can st i 1 1 see. " 
I prayed to god to save me from this man 
with his bag of sand. Later Grandpa would 
tell me that sleep stuff was eye boogers and 
"Don't pick and eat'em, there's plenty food could 
be cooked in the kitchen." I held his hand 
as he died. Grandma's eyes scolded, "Tut-tut;" 
Then she cried so much, sleep stuff held them shut. 

Winner Takes All 

Shelly Parti 11a 

You've given me too much time 
To think about what I'm doing 
But still I can't decide 
What to do. 

You've given me too many questions 
To answer for you 
But still I overwork my brain 
To discover logic. 

You've given me too many excuses 
To buy yourself more time 
Bit still I throw time at you 
For free. 

You've given me too many poems 
To fill my paper 
But still I think and write 
Like a machine. 

You've given me too many passionate memo- 

Of happy love 
But I still walkaway 
Before you take my soul. 

There's No Maid in Heaven 


Jannine Passehl 

i "ve been down now for 
so long 

that it looks like up 

this thing i've got for you 
will almost surely drive me crazy, 
i think about you 
all the time, 
there's nothing i can do 
to get your image 
off my mind- 
it sticks to me like glue, 
each time you're near 
my heart elates, 
but still i seem 
to hesitate; 

not able to let you see my desire, 
unwilling to take it one step higher 
to go the distance and 
take that risk, 
afraid of your resistance, 
yet still longing for your kiss. 

and i wonder... 

will you ever know? 
will you ever see? 
will i ever leam? 

Shelly Parti 11a 

Why so feeling have to be so complex? 

And why so I have to back up my emotions? 

Can't I simply feel what I feel 

And think what I think 

Without you wandering around 

Behind me 

Wondering what's going on 

Inside my cluttered head? 

Don't ask me not to be offended 

When you want me to tell you everything about 


But when my stupidity wears off, 

You'll find 

I really don't mind at all. 

I'm not playing with your mind 

And I'm not using you for personal gain 

But just don't start screaming 

And hoping that this is more than it is. 

Because reading between the lines 

Gets you nowhere 

And I never jump in before I test the water. 

that decision's up to me. 


Shelly Parti 11a 

As you float over me 

And watch me, 

Do you really care 

Or are you laughing at the stupidity you see? 

As people gape at you 

On the pedestal 

They put you on, 

Is your head 

Growing with egotistical madness? 

Do you fantasize 

About ruling the world? 


When people ask you to save their dying child 

Or rescue them from pain, 

Do you smile 

When you realize 

How much power 

People think you have? 

Will you ever come down 

And show your face 

And prove to me that you exist 

Or must I 

Have faith? 


World Mold Me 

Shelly Parti 11a 

As my world grew 

Bigger and Bigger 

And my talents 

Got smal ler and smal ler, 

My views became more radical, 

My personality more intense, 

And my shyness less obvious. 

I fooled you, didn't I? 

Love Cuts Deep 

Janine Passehl 

your love cuts deep with in me 
breaking open an old wound 
allowing it to bleed freely, 
the only way to stench the flow 
is with a kiss. 

i fear i will bleed to death. 

Maria Mel linger 

My rapture lush afghan 

Was wrapped about my shoulder 

The night you kissed me 


It was the only detail 

I could remember through 

The blanket of pain. 

Alone but Not Lonely 

Shelly Parti 11a 

You've proven to me 
That I shouldn't let myself 
Get too involved 
With people. 

You've proven to me 
That I shouldn't believe 
That everyone is as nice 
As they seem . 

You've proven to me 
That I should never trust 
Anyone but myself. 

You've proven to me 
That becoming attached 
In relationships 
Only gives me pain. 

I 'm not screwed up 


I've just finally real 

That the real world 

Is painful and cold. 


Maybe I just need someone 
Who thinks like me 
And feels like me. 

Or maybe I just need 
To change the world. 

When will I leam? 

Shelly Parti 11a 

I've been looking so long for a prince 

And I bang at the castle door 

And the guards come running on gallant white 


They carry keen daggers 

And I have a jeweled shield 

Of stunning beauty and workmanship, 

But it offers no genuine protection. 

I turn to run (like I always do) 

But I 'm surrounded by those much stronger than I 

So I scream (to defend myself) 

"It's not love I want— just happiness" 

But they know I'm lying. 

They send me away without physical harm 



And I run and I run 

For years on end 

And whenever confronted, 

I scream (to defend myself) 

"It's not love I want—only happiness." 

But no one ever Pel ieves me 

Because they know 

I'm afraid of the men on the gallant white horses 

And I'll never put down my shield. 


No Longer Shall I Worship 

Martin Nieznanski 

I molded an image of you 
From a pile of shit I 
Found on the sidewalk. 

Then I stepped on the icon 
With all my strength, 
In a way it was beautiful 

I cleaned off my boot by 

Sliding in the grass and 

By using a stick to scrape the treads 

Nothing I could do can ever 
Remove the foul odor that 
Reminds me of you 


I Can Be Stubborn Too 

Shelly Parti 11a 

I don't want to smile 

And I don't want to play. 

I just want to lie on my bed 

And think 

And dream 

And fantasize about what could never really 


And when you tell me that it's unhealthy, 

I'd have to disagree 

Because I firmly believe 

Fantasizing fulfills reguirements 

That reality just can't handle. 


Dawn Mooney 

I begged him, to leave 
To forget me 
So I could go back 
To poetry 
And solitude 

As I said the world 
I knew I was wrong 
But it was much too late 
To change my meaning 

With tears in my eyes 

I watched him go 

And hoped one day he'd understand 

What I just could not explain 

I wrote my poems 

All alone 

I sang my songs with sad melodies 

I tried to forget 

The mistakes I've made 

And thought of him constantly. 


Lauri Stahl 

One summer night 
As I went walking 
I came upon 
Two Angels talking 

So intent when they 
In their conversation 
They didn't notice me 
Taking dictation. 

But it soon was apparent 

Twasn't the words which were said 

As the quality of love 

And light which they spread. 

I opened my soul 
To inhale this presence 
I was filled with love, joy 
Strength and Forbearance. 

Emotions overwhelmed me. 
Tears closed my eyes. 
A gentle touch on my shoulder 
Took me by surprise. 

"Sweet Soul of God 
We meant you no distress 
Only love, Peace and Joy 
God's gifts of happiness." 

Then just as quick as 
A twinkle of an eye 
They were gone before 
I could say good-bye. 



New perchance my tale seems 
Strange and fictitious, 
But i f God were to grant 
Only one of my wishes, 

I pray that it might be — 
Everyone will hear Angels talking 
Wherever and whenever 
They decide to go walking. 


Take the Ball 

Shelly Parti 11a 

I've built 

Shelves and shelves full of misplaced love 
And every time I invite someone in the door, 
An anxious hope believes this is the one. 
But too many applicants walk out empty- 

Because the reguirements are just too tough. 
I 'm so very tired of interviews 
And compromises 
And excuses. 

Somewhere there is someone with prior 
And flexible hours. 
But he'll have to knock on my door 
Because I don't know where else to look 
And I'm tired of being my own cupid. 

■*•*■*•* ■* 


Martin Nieznanski 

I don't like words, 
So the rest of this 
Poem is in another 
Language that 
Only I can see 
And understand 


So For My Favorite 

Clifford Drum! 

Unrelenting agony, 

Torment and cruelty, 

Pion and his best friend betrayal, 

They say you're nothing, 

They say you're useless, 

They say you don't count, 

They, They, They 

As long as you believe, 

Because you know you feel, 

And you know you can accompl ish, 

Once you become they, 

And run with them, 

Then and only then, 

Have you become what they have set 

out for you to take, 

The nothing inferior, 

Instead, choose the path of individuality. 

You know yourself all harassment is a joke, 

and true ignorance is the punchline. 


Martin Nieznanski 

A sheet of paper traded places 
with me the other day.My Mead- 
possessed body took a pen and 
started to scribble its poems 
of suffering onto me. I am better now. 

Now, while I write, I 
try not to be so harsh with 
the words that I lay down, 
for it is an awful burden for 
paper to carry them. 



Martin Nieznanski 

the only way 
to understand 
anything I write 
is to take time 
out of your life 
and live mine 
for awhile 




Lauri Stahl 

Today they cut off his leg 

Although he did plead and beg. 

It's only a limb they said, 

Be glad if d your leg and not your head. 

But some profound words can't console, 

The young man who feels he's lost his sole. 

The infection was too far advanced. 

And how they made it hard to dance, 

Hard to run and play football, 

Or basketball, any fun things at all. 

But he really does have a choice in this matter. 

To either lay there just getting fatter 

Or use that brilliant head they did save 

And find more illustrious paths to pave. 

He'll come to this realization, eventually 

But it must come from himself, and not from 


So for a while I will leave. 

I'll give him time and space to grieve. 

■*•* •*■*•* 

Only the Shelves Filled 

Martin Nieznanski 

Only the shelves, filled 

With scriptures of all shapes, and 

The closed balcony were 

My friends 

I was envious 

Of the pigeons living on 

The balcony, while 

Watching them kiss and strut 

And flutter, even 

They had others to 

Be with 

It was painful to realize that 
In some ways the birds 
Were better than me, and 
That I could never be as 
Lucky as them. 
Only the shelves filled and 
I remained empty 


Steven Custer 

When the sky 
turned to cement, 
and the earth to 
air, I took you 

inside and protected 
you within a cage 
of bone. 

Centuries of blood and 
soul swirled around 
and surrounded you, 
Therefore, no evil 
could contaminate 

Everyday you would 
climb up my spine, 
and crawl inside 
my head, where we 
would laugh and cry r 
marvel and ponder 
what life had in store 
for us. 

Our existence was 
perfect, so peaceful, 
until one dump and 
dark day snatched it 

I snoozed and there 
you stood beside me. 
You stared, I stared and 
made the slightest motion 
to move. 
You turned and ran. 

•*■*•*■* ■* 

Musician's Lair 

Dawn Mooney 

When I joined 

Your symphony of insanity 

I thought I could handle 

Your syncopated rythems 

And dissonant chords 

But with every rehearsal 

I began to realize 

That the more I tried and 

No matter how hard I practiced 

The intonation was off 

No music was made 

And our relationship 

Was nothing but noise. 



Gerald R Scott 

Raven's eyes 
Poisoned with perfection 
Descending upon the charioteers 
And Luna, the moon, pale as the bleakness of 
the desert 

Bright as the darkness of the stygian encircling 

I see this from my enthralling euphoric cliff- 

Below me only the eventide grass-floor 

Alive and changing 

Changing as all things do with the orb's bright- 

Children dance upon its coming 
The above slowly, drips into the chaos which 
bore it 

Lavender bleeds from the east as the non- 
noctemals wake 

And like always, logic takes over & slashes the 
mysticness of Night 

Or my knees I witness science appear & am 
banished back 
to the Now-man 


A Ghost Within 

Laura V. Cervantes 

Trembling in the shadows 
there is no refuge. 
Silent pleas of despondent desires 
embrace in painful bliss. 
Thoughts linked in solitude 
relinquished to exist. 


Matt Jones 

The sawing of God 

That manhandles mankind 

The hammering of Jesus, 

Whose got the nails, 

Take them down 

Put them up 

Watch where you stand 

On the platform of man 

Cu'z here's stigmata 

By popular demand 

So let's just get to know 

The dark copper taint 

That's with each white saint 

On . Traveling... 
Laura V. Cervantes 

I dream of far away places 
vividly in my mind. 
Tales of ancient races 
speak as though as one in kind. 

The histories and cultures 
that surge from this fountain 
are transient treasures 
as vast as the ocean. 

The remnants of these 
are left behind to admire 
as monuments the freeze 
and transcend to inspire. 


"A Poem About Anything" 

Jennifer Jay 

Cotton duck? That can't be right! 
But here! It's one of the package's features. 
I just want a canvas for my artistic might, 
not some fuzz web-footed creature! 

Besides, what a terribly unsuitable thought - 
the streaming blood gives sucha chill. 
It'd make a frightful quack, no doubt, 
to nail your work by the bill! 

Acryl ic won't do on a mass feathers, 
Yet some artists are sure to try her. 
Instead of "cotton duck" it rather should print 
"cotton fiber." 

Maria Mel linger 

The graffiti read "Geisha girl, 

Go and marry lonely boy at graveside. 

It is the way of the gods for funeral flowers 

To fade and for you to grow again." 

An answer was painted beneath: 

"Flower arranging is for those 

who can place the dead and the dying 

In beautiful containers for safe keeping. 

In gardens geishas grow." 



Maria Mel linger 

Time to Leave the Sandbox 

Wearing a backwards baseball cap 

And pulling details of my life 

Onto a string as if they were bends, 

She gave me advice that meant nothing. 

"sprinkle Night shade on his napping pillow. 

Kiss him when the black crow cries." 

She leaned forwards sitting indian style, 

Her bare feet atop her overall knees. 

"Bury his name in the mouth of a dead bird. 

Season vinegar with his wine." 

The hippie soothsayer chive spoke to me 

So she could have my boy when I set him free. 


Beatle Rip-Off Poem 

Steve Custer 

"The Beatles... we'll 

I am you 
you are me 
he is she 
and we are 


We all live 
in a yellow 
submarine in 
an octopoise's 
garden, in the 
albert hall. 

She loves you. 

call ourselves the Beatles!' 
- john lennon 


its better than "Johnny and the Moondogs. 
- paul mc cartney 


David Tieman 

On a picture perfect canvas 

Painted violet 

By a blossoming riot of color, 

An innocent girl 

Dances with laughter 

As she twirls dizzily 

Wi th her tan arms extended 

And her petite hands fanned 

To catch the meandering wind 

By mother sunshine 

All summer long 

Shelly Parti 11a 

I won't ask anything of you 

So I won't be disappointed. 

Just love me 

Or not— 

I really don't care. 

I 'm now past my dessert 

But the quicksand 

Took too much effort 

And heart-pieces fell in the bottomless hole. 

Regeneration takes time 

And wisdom— 

Both of which I have very little of. 

Maturity is my last resort 

Because I'm tired of being the only adult 

Playing children's games. 

I don't fit in with your playgroup— 

I'm sick of being the leader 

And I don't want to share my toys. 



Shelly Parti 11a 

I am told not to cry because crying is childish. 
So I keep the pain inside. 

I am told not to laugh because that is immature. 
So I sit without expression. 

I am told to only because discipline never 


So I don't experiment and I never learn. 

I am told to conform because that is normal. 
So I dress like everyone else and I don't know 
who I am. 

I am told to believe in God because god is love. 
So reluctantly go to church and pray to some- 
thing I don't 

Then I'm told to think because it leads to great 


And I do. 

And I discover that sometimes you have to 

break the rules. 



Candlelight Heroes 

Shelly Parti 11a 

Your face dances i n the 1 i gh t of a m i 1 1 i on cand 1 es- 

All lit by me. 

Your eyes stare at mine and I tell myself to look 


But nothing moves. 

You even begin today something but your words 

get lost 

Somewhere between make-believe and reality. 

Don't be afraid to wonder what I'm thinking. 
I wonder what you're thinking, 
just don't put me on such a pedestal. 
I'm really just like you — 
I'm not a genius. 

I'm reaching out for anything to comfort me. 
I "m only looking for one person to understand. 
I don't want love anymore— just friendship. 
Too rash, 
And too overwhelming. 

If I think hard enough, 

I could give you a million reasons to need love 

But never one to want it. 

My necessities are becoming more refined and 

more basic 

And your light is finding 

But I'm not afraid of the dark. 


But of You 

Steve Custer 

I walked; and when I walked, 
I wondered where the sky had gone. 
And why the earth touched my feet 
as sandpaper. 

I thought; and as I thought, I 
cried. Sanity is not an inanimate 
object; no it is not. Tears are not 
tears. They are droplets of Sanity; the 
more one sheds, the less one has. 

I prayed, I prayed the pleading 
prayer of an addicted sinner. 
There came no reply. 

And then, after my sanity had 
run itself dry through eye socket 
faucets, I sang. 

I danced upon the earth. I saw 
beautiful lights that beckoned me to a 
fate that I had not yet matured to 

No, Instead I walked on into 
my solitude, screaming, dreaming, 
dreaming. If not of anything, 
but of you. 


Tri bute to Dr. Seuss ( 1 904- 1 99 1 ) 

ShellieR. Smith 

He put a Wocket 

In my pocket, 

And a cat in a hat, 

A Grinch in our Christmas, 

And I thank him for that. 

Sam I Am and his 

Green eggs and ham, 

The Seven Lady Godivas, too; 

We that learned to read 

With your many books 

Will never forget you! 


You Wanted 

Steven Custer 

I remember days of touching. 
Laying next to you, giving you what 
you wanted. 

I remember the beauty of the 
first. You wanted. 

The boy bowed his head and 
walked into the dark forest. 
When night fell, he floated. 

He floated on the water and 
wanted to kiss the flowers that 
rose around him. He did not; 
for fear that if he did, they would 




Steve Custer 

A poem named 

Fred once 

ran and played with 

my writing, 

but the environmentalists 

abolished machinery, and 

so he was lost to the 

sickening space within 

my mind. 



Steve Custer 


We made love. 

We made love with words. 

Words that crawled 

and charted, arched 

and knew. 


We made love. 


Never touched, 

We made love to 

The "other" we 

Couldn't have with 

Words so similar 

to our thoughts; 


That danced 

and prayed. 


We made love, 

with words. 

Eric Jensen 

Wearily I wonder 
In the early edge of summer 
If you know me like I know you 
Silhouette in Blue 


David Tieman 

Electronically cruel 
Contemporary girl 
Etched her greed 
Into the crotch of this blinded world 

A blossoming start 
Bound to her heart 
A mental guillotine 
Disturbingly sharp 
Creatively deprived 
A ferocious appetite 
Beheaded in the climax 
Of captivity's plight 



Jannine Passehl 










Jennifer Jay 

Sun, sun, sun. 

You see the fields and all 

the fields have soybean corn. 

Pink milkweed sneaks in and so does Queen 

Anne's lace. 

You're alone. 

All these fields have them but one. 

One has a cluster of trees. 

Go to It. 

The trees are bright and full. 
Large leaves and thick trunks, 
Heavy bark, rich and rough. 
A few filled nests spot the boughs. 
All of the trees are like this. 
All but one. 

Go to It. 

Tall and sharp, no limbs to speak of, 
this tree burnt, sinister, somber, shiny. 
A bird's plump corpse 1 ies near by, 
ants roaming and its eye glinting 
by certain angles of sun. The tree 
had a knot. Wonder what's there. 
Go to It. 


The Glass Princess 

The Writer 

Matt Jones 

Oh, my most beautiful princess, how you do 
Enchant me with your sweetest siren's song 
And send me crashing against the cold 
And unloving Mother of Us All. 

Dance for me, my stone-sweet princess. 

Oh, how you fly free in the face of all 
Once known, how you love and despise 
And love to despise me with your frozen 
And beautiful countenance. 

Tell me, my sharp crystal beauty. 

How you shatter my heart of stone into 
Glass and offer me sharp crystal needles 
And hate in its place and part my 
Soul with your freezing fires of passion. 

Sing for me, my glass fury. 

Of why you became more and less than 
We, the rock-common terrain of Man 
And how you came to be forged of the 
Most perfect of flaws in heaven and earth. 

Fly before me, my freezing eternity. 

Oh, it is the greatest crime that flesh, 
Soft and sweet, pink and ripe, young 
And innocent should petrify and crystallize 
And crumble before its time. 

Weep for me, my icy icon. 

Oh, what things must I do to return 
Your soul of All Saints to the intricate 
And beautiful curvature of your form 
And restore the temple from where it came. 

Weep for your loss, my lovely frost. 

Shall I sell my soul for the sharpest 

Cut diamond that you are? 

Shal 1 I fol low your dance, bound to you 

For God's will forevemnore? 

Or shall I let you go until you pirouette 

And spiral and dance and weave your 

Own doom? 

Care to dance, my love? 

Michelle Forys 

Begin with me a story. 

You may write a line, a paragraph, 

Or become a chapter in the book of my 1 ife. 

Help me to hold the pen, 

To form the words into phrases, 

And to write down the story 

Or how you have become a part of me. 

Teach me to be the greatest author 

By tearing down the barriers I try to hide behind. 

Set me free when I am with you. 

Let me say all those things I cannot say without 


Let me share myself so totally with you 

That when the tears do come, 

You will be there to kiss them all away. 

I want you to read over my shoulder 
About how you given me the strength 
To push aside my insecurities 
And start to love myself again. 

I want to read me like this open book, 

From beginning to end. 

I want to fill your heart with my words, 


And have you be the keeper of my soul. 

I will not make you promise me "forever." 
I will not make you say "always." 

Just when you finish this page, 
Turn it, and help me begin another. 
Let time not let the memories fade 
Like pages turning yellow. 
But, let the story begin... 


A Celtic Poem 

Michelle Forys 

It begins with the sword maiden 

Embroidering the scabbard in her lap. 

Looking up from her work, 

She sees the White Heart 

His great, knowing eyes searching her own. 

He looks on the sword which will spill his blood 

So that the rains may come. 




In the ring«of stones, 

The bonfire bums 

With flames that like the sky 

As if they could burn the stars. 

The chants from this distance sound nothing more 

than a hum. 

Cloaked men pacing docile 'round the flame. 

Shadows against the tall, bluish-grey stones 

make them look like Giants themselves. 

And among them stands the merlin. 

Golden eyes looking through each man 

To the soul beneath 

To be sure his words speak the truth. 

Any falseness dies here, body and soul, 

Under the sword's gentle blade. 

A flash of metal, 

Then the clash stripes with red. 

The flow of blood, 

While the rest continue their endless murmur, 

Rhythmic and droning, 

Causing the edges of vision to haze 

And the Ears to heat what they would normally have 


The door to the other world stands open. 

At the entrance 

No light to carry inside. 

Reaching now with hands that have become so much 


Than weapons and tools, 

Eyes for the newly blind. 

All animals, large and small, 

Have become his predators 

And all have become his ally, of he so chooses. 

Taking the eyes of a Hawk, 

Speed of the Stag, 

The Heart of the Lion, 

And the will of the Dragon, 

Following his own path from the crossroads. 

And respecting both the Guardian of the path and 


For his Decision. 

This night, the sea is not salted with the Earth alone. 

The gull scream as the whirl above the sea. 

Waters have been salted with the blood of men. 

Sightless heads of the newly dead 

Rest on pikes watching their blood color the seafoam. 

The very waters that carried them here 

To this foreign land called Britain 

Will wash their blood up on to the shores of their 

distant homelands. 

Their ears no longer hearing and wailing of their 


Lonely heads atop the battlements 

Now forever looking toward homes they will not 


Still the druids make their humming. 

Making sure the seasons change, 

the days pass, 

the sun rise, 

the rains fall. 

The Cauldron of Rebirth brings one year into 


The song continues, without hesitation 

Wi thout pause for breath. 

As a man's life leaves him, he passes his gifts 

on to his son 

So the he may stand in the circle to take his 


Humming, always humming. 

The Earth becomes, the water flows, 
the wind never stops blowing. 
The fire burns. 
And the humming, 
Grows louder. 

Yet spears are made 

And swords are forged and the shields beaten 

from plows. 

Bards sing the Song. 

The Song of the Land. 

Enter the Chapel. 

Where the Glaston bush grew from the 

Armathean staff 

And, in the parallel, where Aval on lay, 

See the Lady, see the Lord. 

On His table see the Cup of His Blood 

And the Bread of His body. 

On Her table are the flowers of Her maidenhood 

And the fruits of Her harvest. 

Both with ask for faith of their people, 

Just one has been speaking longer. 

And the light of the stars wil 
the hum. 

sing in tune with 

Echoing and answering the music 

Of the Wheel of Life. 

The Cauldron will be of plenty. 

The Animals will be free. 

The seasons will change in their due course. 

The flowering of Lorges is upon us, 

And the Lord is just sleeping. 



I Have Changed 

Michelle Forys 

Welcome me into your arms 

As the huntress you have watched from afar. 

I hunted down wolves stronger than you, 

And game I had no right to destroy. 

But I learned to walk away. 

Sometimes I struggle with jaws at my throat. 

And sometimes the blade that bit into my flesh 

Was my own. 

Now I am Strong enough to see you 

To meet your eyes with my own. 

Not in fear. 

Not in pain. 

And not as you had left me before, for dead. 

I am here now, nor prepared to die for you 

Like some weeping, shallow girl, 

But as an equal, an even match. 


Cluade and Effect 

Patrick F. Walsh 

Having stumbled through life making too 

mistakes, too many enemies and suffering too 

consequences, Claude needed an ego-saving 

He felt beat up emotionally. Still, he remained 

arrogant and impulsive as ever acting on his 
found beliefs. He had convinced himself that the 

of cause and effect applied to all things; that 
thing was strictly determined and was bound to 

exactly the way it did, which,of course, 
precluded free 

will. There, people were not responsible for 
actions; whatever will be, will be. 

So, being a man who lived by his convictions, 
Claude began crossing streets without looking. 

times he made it across safely, causing many 

Amidst irate cursing and shaking fists, extended 
from open windows, Claude walked away 

believing this heavy metal concert he had 
rated really had been inevitable. He left frus- 

trated motorists with the traumatic task of extri- 
cating their treasured vehicles from around trees 
and lampposts and he didn't feel even a trace of 
guilt. I n fact, he felt elated. What a great philoso- 
he thought. 

The seventh time he crossed a street without 
looking, Claude sustained severe injuries after 
being struck by a car. Claude suspected the 
driver had hit him on purpose because be recalled 
seeing him in his battered car at another accident 
scene. 1 1 was clear cut case of premeditated free 
will, Claude thought deliriously, on his way to the 

His suffering, after the accident and during his 
rehabilitation, had a profound effect on Cluade's 
thinking and caused him to reconsider his phil- 
osophy. After all, he reasoned, was he not part 
of the determining process, a link in the chain of 
cause and effect? Whatever he decided to do was a 
piece of history waiting to happen; and no matter 
how little influence he exerted, still, he was only 
one who could prevail upon the world in "his" 
individual way. Everyone, because of his unique 
bio-chemistry, social conditioning, and education 
develops an individual will which he feels free to 
assert in making decisions whether right or wrong, 
good or bad. Could it be that free will is nothing 
more than the freedom or urgency one feels to 
control his own life by trying to understand the 
circumstances that affect it? Was so-called free 
will just an extension of the will to survive? 
Anyway, his future hadn't happened yet, and he 
alone, as an entity in the course of human experi- 
ence, could make it happen. He was the catalyst! 
He felt, at once, a sense of relief and power sweep 
over him. 

The next time he crossed a street, Claude looked 
both ways. "Made it!" he shouted triumphantly as 
he stepped on the opposite curb. A heavy tool, 
dropped by a lineman working above, killed Claude 

Claude and some of his effects are buried in Mount 
Valley Cemetery. 



Lauri Stahl 

I sat alone on a cold bench by the lakeside. I 
watched with reverence, the rocks and the 
waves in their power-play. The rocks 
unassailable, and the waves unyielding to them, 
unwilling to stop there, continued to spray them- 
selves over the topand beyond. 

I was thankful for the earliest of the hour. 
Thatway, I wouldn't have to share this piece of 
lakesidewith anyone. Especially, the homeless 
bums, and all those druggies and gang members 
that are beginning to over run all the public places 
now. Theyfrighten me so. No sooner had the 
thought streakedacross my mind than a lone figure 
came from behindme, and walked past to be closer 
to the water's edge.One glance at him made me 

His face still had it's youthful look. He couldn't 
bemore than sixteen or seventeen; and yet, his 
face was lined and discolored like my 
grandfather's. His eyeshad a painful intensity 
about them. Eyes set deep in 2 thin face, circled 
with darkness, a glazed look ccatingthem. His 
frame was but a skeleton making him look 
anarexian pale as his clothes hung about his body. 
The simple T-shirt and sweat pants were sizes 
toolarge for him.- (Probably got them at some 
mission as a hand out.) Now I realize that I have 
lived a shelteredlife style, and never had much 
contact with these kind of people. But, I have 
heard my friends, and others, talk about them - 
how they become so affected to drugs they 
don't care about eating any more. Lord, why 
can't theseyoung kids see what drugs do to them! 

He vacantly looked at the waves as if not really 
seeingwhat was before him, but looking at some 
internal picturehis mind had prepared for him. He 
yanked off the baseball style cap he wore to rub 
his head. (Probably to helpstimulate his brain.) 
His head was completely bald. Oh,Great God, He's 
one of those gang members that go around and 
shave their heads. I had heard they were a rough 

His mind functioned for a moment to bring his 
attention to the present moment. He turned and 
started walking along the rocky edge. As he 
walked his legs wouldn't cooperate with his brain. 
( How could it with all those drugs!) His body 
reeled and swayed with each step he took. He 
paused, then tried a couple more steps and almost 
pitched forward. Oh, Sweet Jesus, he's stoned 
out of his head right now. Whatever makes such a 
young man ruin his life like this? 

I couldn't pull my eyes off of him. I was 
mesmerized by this degradation of a human soul. 
I could feel fear creeping slowly through my 
body. I wanted to get up and run from this 
strange kid, but my fear immobilized me. Oh God, 
help my legs move. Too late. He spotted me, and 
is now making his way toward me with comical 
sway and stagger step. "Do you mind if I sit 
here for awhile? It seems I've lost my sea-legs" 
he said. 

Oh God, what can I say? I say nothing. I slide 
over farther on the bench so I don't have to be 
real close to him. 
Lord protect me. 

I tried to pretend to be absorbed by the view, 
trying to ignore the uncomfortable silence. But I 
felt my Christian background tugging at my 
conscience. I should speak with the young man. 
Set him straight. Help him see the errors of his 
way. So I bravely turned toward him, and my 
voice filled with God-fearing righteousness said: 
"Son, you really must stop taking drugs." 

Sad eyes looked directly into mine. "Lady, 
you don't understand." 

"Yes", I quickly answered. "I do understand 
Those drugs are killing you - can't you see?" 

"Like I said, Lady you don't understand. I 
can't live without the drugs that did this to me. 
Those drugs are my life — the only hope I have." 

I was speechless. How could you argue with a 
mind like that? In a moment of silence, the boy 
gentlytouched my shoulder and smiled a brilliant 
smile that erased all the lines and years from his 
face. "It's not just drugs", he said. "It's 
Chemo. " 

He stood up and left. I didn't see which 

Silent tears blinded me. I cried not only for the 
young man. 

fighting his cancer through chemotherapy; but 
mostly, I cried for myself wrapped up in my 
own cancer of fearful pre-judgements. 


The Silent Boy 
Michelle Forys 

The street lights came on just after sunset. 

I stood between the comer and my eight 
year-old son, Adam, in the ring of people who 
stared agape at the motionless body lying in 
the flower bed. 



Her face was white and 
perfectly smooth. Her skin seemed somehow 
flawless, an uncommon sight for a teenaged girl 
what all the chocolate she could set her hands 
on whenever she would babysit Adam. She 
looked like she had fallen asleep there among 
the violets and gardenias, but the horror- 
stricken expressions on the faces of my 
neighbors said that this poor girl was far from 
sleeping. She was dead. 

I went out for the evening with some of my 
friends from work an asked Monica to watch 
Adam. She agreed readily; it would be an easy 
job because my son could not "talk-back" to 
her... Adam is autistic. With that, I left, 
leaving Adam to his crayolas and drawing 

No sooner had my car pul led out of the 
driveway, Monica was talking on the phone to 
her friend Angela. 

"Hey, Angie, are you serious? He really 
asked you about me in Biology?" Monica asked, 
almost dropping the receiver. 

"Yes," said Angie, "Michael told me that he 
thinks you're 'hot'. In fact, he wanted to know 
what you were doing tonight." 

"Oh great. I would have to be babysitting 
for Mrs. Fisk when the man-of-my-dreams 
finally notices that I'm alive!" 

"Don't panic, Mon. You'd better believe I 
fixed that situation for you — " 

"what did you say?" Monica interrupted. 

"Well, Angie purred, "I sorta mentioned 
Fisk's address to him, and, urn, he just gave me 
one of those wicked grins and said he 'might be 
in the neighborhood'." 

"Holy God! You're kidding? That's so 
awesome!" Monica almost fainted. 

Adam continued to draw while Monica 
chattered on, but 

with her excited cries, he snapped out of his 
daydream world 

of black-inked outlines t be filled in with color 
and turned 

to see what she was jumping so excitedly 

Monica suddenly stopped jumping. Oh damn. 
I almost 

forgot. Mrs. Fisk freaks out if I have somebody in 
her house without permission. She thinks that 
strangers will scare Adam or something. So much 

C'mon, what the heck is the matter with you'? 
Are you honestly gonna let that kid ruin your big 
chance with 'Mr. Right'?" 

"Angie, what do you expect me to do? Sneak 
Michael into the house?" 

"Sure. Why not? The kid certainly can't tell on 
you, right?" Angie said, chuckling at her own 

"No, I guess not, but still..." 

Adam turned the page of his coloring book to a 
picture of Snow White dancing with Dopey dwarf. 
He watched as Monica talked animate on the phone. 
He watched the way her long brunette ponytail 
waged when she nodded her head. 

"Yeah. Okay. I'll let him in when he gets 
here," Monica told Angie. 

Adam heard her, and although he could not 
speak, he understood what those words meant. 
They were going to have company. Then, he began 
to color again. 

Monica was standing in front of the full length 
mirror examining herself for signs of fatigue as 
she ran a brush through her hair that she let fall 
down around her shoulders. 

Mirror, Mirror on the wall, she mused, who's 
the fairest of them all? 

She continued to preen before her reflection 
when something suddenly moved behind her. She 
jolted her head around and her heart skipped a beat. 

It was only little Adam holding out one of his 
drawings to her, the one with the dancing figures. 

Catching her breath, Monica took the paper. 
"Why thank you Adam. Is this for me?" 

Adam regarded her question with silence and a 

Monica looked back at the picture and realized 
that Adam had given Snow White a long, brown, 
scribbled ponytail and Dopey had grown curly blond 
hair just like Adam's. 



"Aw Adam, this is you and me, right?" Monica 
bentdown and scooped the artist into her arms for a 

Adam could not tell her how wonderful he felt as 
Monica held him, but he was sure whoever the 
company was, they were not going to steal her 
attention away from him. Not his Snow White. No 


"Oh my God. He's here!" Monica said as she 
lowered Adam to the floor and dashed to the front 
door. In her hurry, she let the picture fall to the 

Adam, tears swelling in his eyes, picked up his 
and reluctantly shuffled after his thwarted love, 

"Please come in," Monica said t the princely 
young man at the front door. 

Michael, hands behind his back, stepped into the 
house just as Adam peeked around the corner to see 
who was at the door. He handed Monica a golden 
box with a red ribbon tied around it. 

"Just a 1 i ttle something to ask you of you'd 1 ike 
to see a movie with me sometime, "Michael said, 
handing Monica the gift. 

Blushing, she tore through the wrapping like a 
child on Christmas morning. "Chocolate! My 
absolute favorite! How did you know?" Monica 
asked Michael as she popped one of th e candies in 
her mouth. 

"A little bird told me," Michael said with one of 
his patented wicked grins. 

Adam's heart sank and hot tears drew them- 
selves down his dwarfish, baby face. It was all too 
obvious to him that Monica liked this stranger's gift 
far more than the picture he had worked so hard on 
and Monica had so quickly forgotten about. He 
picked up the picture and tore it to pieces throwing 
them at Michael and Monica. 

"Her there, Sport, getting a little upset, are 

Michael teased Adam, "maybe you need to be sent 
to your room or something?" Michael winked at 

Adam was crushed, especially when Monica 

"Yes, I do believe you should go to your 
room, Adam. 

You have given nothing but trouble since I got 
here," said Monica, and she grabbed Adam's 
hand and marched him into his bedroom.. 

Adam started jumping up and down. 

"What!" Monica demanded. "You have to go 
to the bathroom or something?" 

A furious nod. 

"Alright, " she said, "but I am going to 
trust you to go straight back into this room once 
you're finished because I have a guest to keep 
company> " With that, Monica walked 
back down stairs, leaving Adam alone in the 
bathroom — something Adam's Mom would 
never do. Too many things to get into" she 
would always say. Adam who had watched his 
Mom getting ready in the mornings foe work 
knew just what she meant. Today, things to get 
into was just what he needed. His Mom told him 
all about "Mr. Yuck Face" on the bad bottles in 
the cabinet and why he is not allowed- to touch 
them. Most times.he wouldn't. Today, he 

Monica had just sat down with Michael on the 
living room couch when, like a demon, Adam 
came flying around the corner just in time to 
steal the box of chocolates from out of 
Michael's lap. The next noise that Michael 
heard was the slam of Adam's bedroom door. 

Monica was not amused. 

"That little brat!" Honestly, I don't know 
why he's acting like this. He's usually so good. 
I'm sorry Michael>" 

"No problem. He just wanted some choco- 
late, too. God knows I 'd have eaten half of them 
by now of he hadn't stopped me." 

Adam poured "Mr. Yuck" on the chocolate 
and made the "Mr. Yuck" face, too. He hoped 
Michael would match the same yucky green. 
Putting the lid back down stairs and into the 
living room. 

Michael greeted him with a smile. 

"It's okay, kid. Those things are good, 



Adam nodded and handed Michael the box. 
Then he wavedgoodnight and went to bed, a 
smile on his face. 

Michael open the lid and looked to find the 
caramel oneshe liked the best. "Monica, do you 
have any milk?" 

"Yeah, sure, I'll get you a glass." But 
before she headed forthe kitchen, she grabbed 
the last two melt-a-ways and popped them into 
her mouth. "MMMM...good. " 


Monica answered the phone, "Hello. Fisk 

"Hello monica. It's Mrs. Fisk. I'm on my 
way home, so I'll see you in a few. So me a 
favor. See if I need anymilk— " 

"Yes, urn, uh, you will, I'm sort of drinking 
the last glass right now," giggling she handed 
the glass t Michael who was almost about to 
burst out laughing himself. 

"Great. Thanks, Monica. Give Adam a kiss 
goodnight forme." 

"Oh, I'll give him a kiss," Monica said 
looking straight at Michael. His reaction was 
just as she had hoped. That grin. Monica hung 
up the phone and grinned back. 

"Michael, no time for milk. You've gotta 
leave before she gets here. Go out through the 
garden, It's safer in case she drives up the 

Taking her hand, Michael and Monica walked 
out into the garden. He kissed her and gave her 
a bear hug to remember him by...until they go to 
the movie on Friday night. Then he walked off 
onto the Sunset Bridge and went home. Monica 
swooned. At first she thought she was seeing 
stars because of his kisses and she felt flushed 
because of all the excitement. Then she 
crumpled to the ground among the flower beds. 
And Adam had seen it all. 

That's not what was supposed to happen! !! 
Michael was supposed to be the one lying on the 
ground, not Monica! Adam hid under his covers 
until his mom came home. Even when the sirens 
wailed, he pretended he was asleep. 

I held my son's hand. What a horrible thing 
to happen to the poor child. Bad candy. And she 
was such a nice girl, too. Suddenly, Adam was 
tugging at my hand, trying to get free. I let him 

go and watched as he kneeled down among the 
flowers to kiss his babysitter. We all thought it 
was touching, especially when the tears began to 
roll down his cheeks. He kissed her again and 
again. Finally I put my hand on his shoulder and 
told him to stop. He whipped hid head around to face 
me, his eyes starring up at me were huge and 

And then I heard the first words my son spoke 
in over five years. 

MOMMA!" he screamed, "SHE SUPPOSED TO